November 20, 2017

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Newbery/Caldecott 2018: The Summer Prediction Edition

Did Betsy drop the ball in her last Spring Newbery/Caldecott Prediction post? Yes, Betsy did drop the ball in her last Spring Newbery/Caldecott Prediction post. Will Betsy do better with her Summer Newbery/Caldecott Prediction post? Yes, Betsy will do better with her Summer Newbery/Caldecott Prediction Post. Back in the spring I ran into a bit […]

Review of the Day: Town is By the Sea by Joanne Schwartz, ill. Sydney Smith

Town Is by the Sea By Joanne Schwartz Illustrated by Sydney Smith Groundwood Books $19.95 ISBN: 978-1-55498-871-6 Ages 4-9 On shelves now There’s been a lot of talk lately about how a parent can engender empathy in their children. It’s a good question and worth a lot of discussion and listening. As a parent I’ve […]

Review of the Day: Real Friends by Shannon Hale, ill. LeUyen Pham

Real Friends By Shannon Hale Artwork by LeUyen Pham Color by Jane Poole First Second (an imprint of Roaring Brook Press, Macmillan) $12.99 ISBN: 978-1-62672-785-4 Ages 9-12 On shelves now. The autobiography assignment. I don’t pretend to know precisely why teachers give it out or what they hope child readers will get out of it. […]

Review of the Day: The Ethan I Was Before by Ali Standish

The Ethan I Was Before By Ali Standish Harper (an imprint of Harper Collins) $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-06-243340-4 Ages 9-12 On shelves now Southern Gothic children’s literature. Sounds crazy, no? But as weird as it might sound it’s a legitimate genre. You may think it’s all Flannery and Faulkner but kids have a delightful range to […]

THEY’RE ALIIIIIIIIVE! 2017 Out-of-Print Books Back From the Dead

I like too many things. It’s beginning to get suspicious. One day I might write a post about the necessity of world literature on our children’s bookshelves. The next day I turn around and start beating the drum for small publishers. Blink again and it is imperative that I talk to you about the importance […]

Review of the Day: Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and June Jo Lee

Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix By Jacqueline Briggs Martin and June Jo Lee Illustrated by Man One Readers to Eaters $18.95 ISBN: 978-0-9836615-9-7 Ages 5-10 On shelves now. A kid walked up to my Reference Desk. Looked me square in the eye. Said, “I need a biography…” “Sure thing!” I chirruped. That’s […]

Celebrating Small Publishers: An Array of Remarkable 2017 Titles From the Smallest Houses

When I was getting my library degree in grad school I remember quite clearly a class where we were told about the various publishers creating children’s books. At the time The Big Five (Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, Harper Collins, and Little, Brown) were still The Big Six (before Penguin and Random House […]

Review of the Day: York – The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby

York: The Shadow Cipher By Laura Ruby Walden Pond Press (an imprint of Harper Collins) $17.99 ISBN: 9780062306937 Ages 9-14 On shelves May 9th. A wise bookseller friend of mine once said (and I’m paraphrasing here because she bloody tweets too often to locate the precise words), “If you work in a bookstore you are […]

Review of the Day: My Valley by Charles Ponti

My Valley By Charles Ponti Translated by Alyson Waters Elsewhere Editions (an imprint of Archipelago Books) $24.00 ISBN: 978-0914671626 Ages 4-8 On shelves now. I’ve written a lot about the state of translated children’s books in America lately. It is what it is. Generally speaking, Americans can be a bit cagey when it comes to […]

Review of the Day: A New School Year – Stories in Six Voices by Sally Derby, ill. Mika Song

A New School Year: Stories in Six Voices By Sally Derby Illustrated by Mika Song Charlesbridge $16.99 ISBN: 978-1580897303 Ages 5-12 On shelves June 27th Sometimes I think that easy readers are the hardest books for kids to write. Those are the beginner books where the word count is limited and you have to somehow […]

Review of the Day: Bronze and Sunflower by Cao Wenxuan, ill. Meilo So

Bronze and Sunflower By Cao Wenxuan Illustrated by Meilo So Translated by Helen Wang Candlewick Press $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-7636-8816-5 On shelves now It’s odd. Parents these days. I meet so many of them that believe that to live in a globalized society it is imperative for their children to learn another language. That’s not the […]

Review of the Day: Bronze and Sunflower by Cao Wenxuan, ill. Meilo So

Bronze and Sunflower By Cao Wenxuan Illustrated by Meilo So Translated by Helen Wang Candlewick Press $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-7636-8816-5 On shelves now It’s odd. Parents these days. I meet so many of them that believe that to live in a globalized society it is imperative for their children to learn another language. That’s not the […]

Review of the Day: Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell

Wolf in the Snow By Matthew Cordell Feiwel and Friends (an imprint of Macmillan) $17.99 ISBN: 978-1250076366 Ages 4-7 On shelves now It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why it is that I love picture books as much as I do. Putting aside the usual reasons (brain growth, increasing a child’s capacity for wonder, parent/child bonding, […]

Review of the Day: The Youngest Marcher by Cynthia Levinson, ill. Vanessa Brantley Newton

The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist By Cynthia Levinson Illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton Atheneum (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) $17.99 ISBN: 978-1-4814-0070-1 Ages 6-10 On shelves now Today I’d like to begin with a small talk about diversity. Not diversity of people necessarily, but diversity […]

Review of the Day: Charlie & Mouse by Laurel Snyder, ill. Emily Hughes

Charlie & Mouse By Laurel Snyder Illustrated by Emily Hughes Chronicle Books $14.99 ISBN: 978-1-4521-3153-5 Ages 6-9 On shelves April 11th Only the jaded should write reviews of children’s books. Oh, it makes sense! Think about it. Children’s books are where the saccharine and overblown and overbearing go to die. Things that wouldn’t cut it […]

Lucia the Luchadora by Cynthia Leonor Garza, ill. Alyssa Bermudez

Lucia the Luchadora By Cynthia Leonor Garza Illustrated by Alyssa Bermudez POW! Kids Books $16.99 ISBN: 978-1-57687-827-9 Ages 4-7 On shelves March 7th It was probably seven or so years ago. I was working as a children’s librarian in New York City. We were hosting a class of kids, first or second graders, and after […]

Review of the Day: One Trick Pony by Nathan Hale

One Trick Pony By Nathan Hale Amulet Books (an imprint of Abrams) $14.95 ISBN: 978-1-4197-2128-1 Ages 9-12 On shelves March 14th Let us say, for the sake of argument, that you are a wonderfully successful author/artist of a New York Times bestselling graphic novel series about historical events. Hazardous historical events. Let us say that […]

Review of the Day: The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet by Carmen Agra Deedy, ill. Eugene Yelchin

The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet! By Carmen Agra Deedy Illustrated by Eugene Yelchin Scholastic $17.99 ISBN: 978-0-545-72288-9 Ages 4-8 On shelves now Allegorical tales are not supposed to make you giggle. They’re steeped in seriousness. Rooted in meaning. Awash in heartfelt feelings that are meant to make you think deeply about the state […]

Review of the Day: The Secret Project by Jonah Winter, ill. Jeanette Winter

The Secret Project By Jonah Winter Illustrated by Jeanette Winter Beach Lane Books (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) $17.99 ISBN: 978-1-4814-6913-5 Ages 4 and up On shelves February 7th Writing history for kids used to be a simple affair. I remember from my own youth the deadly dull books that somehow seemed to always […]

Review of the Day: Princess Cora and the Crocodile by Laura Amy Schlitz, ill. Brian Floca

Princess Cora and the Crocodile By Laura Amy Schlitz Illustrated by Brian Floca Candlewick Press $16.99 ISBN: 978-0-7636-4822-0 Early Chapter Book On shelves March 28th What if. What if Good Night Moon had been illustrated by someone other than Clement Hurd? What if. What if Charlotte’s Web had had an artist who wasn’t Garth Williams? […]